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Snail Games and Wandering Wizard announce West Hunt, a social deduction game set in the Old West. Snail Games is a global developer and publisher, best known for Ark: Survival Evolved. The global developer and publisher has partnered with Wandering Wizard to share publishing duties on behalf of West Hunt developer NewGen.
“West Hunt has enabled Snail Games to break new ground with the growing social deduction genre,” said Snail Games’ Peter Kang. “The unique blend of mechanics combined with the classic Old West setting is sure to deliver plenty of hilarious moments, and we can’t wait to see what kind of issues players face in West Hunt.”
West Hunt is a game in the same vein as Spy Party. Players take on the role of the sheriff or the outlaw to compete against each other in a town full of villagers. The Outlaw must complete a series of tasks to win; things like bribing the bartender, poisoning the water supply, and praying for forgiveness.
With each completed task, the Outlaw gains fame, which increases their notoriety. As the notoriety grows, the sheriff is given information to track them down and kill them. The Outlaw can also perform optional side missions to reduce their prominence and stay hidden from their opponent.
Playing as the sheriff is both much easier and much more difficult. There is only one goal: to shoot the Outlaw. Careful observation is the name of the game. The sheriff can receive hints from mailboxes throughout the city that give him information about his opponent. But when they guess wrong and shoot an innocent villager, the Outlaw wins the round.
West Hunt also includes a few interesting twists on the formula. Randomized skins prevent the Outlaw from being released immediately. Random hint locations also help. Not only can the sheriff remember an optimal route to collect hints that will pave their way to an easy victory. In-game voice chat allows players to taunt and bluff each other during the match.
Most interestingly, though, West Hunt isn’t just a two-player game. It has a one-versus-one mode, but also offers a two-versus-two mode.
Anyone who has played Spy Party a lot can probably imagine the spike in difficulty that an extra player on each side will cause. With two sheriffs on the prowl, the odds of losing the match due to a bad shot or lack of communication are twice as high. Depending on whether both Outlaws need to complete tasks, or if only one is needed, the strategies there will vary wildly.
I’m going for these fingers crossed. When Spy Party was first announced, I was sure that style of play would explode onto the scene. I exclaim: I was absolutely right. It just took a few more years than I thought.
West Hunt is release in early access on June 14.
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